tv [untitled] March 9, 2012 7:00pm-7:30pm EST
but the unemployment rate remained at 8.3%. coming up tonight, a series of recent events focusing on nuclear weapons. a focus on the u.s. ballistic defense plans. after that, a look at the national nuclear safety administration. the agency responsible for securing nuclear weapons and materials. and later, former defense secretary william perry and george schultz and sam nunn discuss the current threats proposed by nuclear weapons. earnest hemingway is considered one of the greatest writers. not many people know of his work as a spy during world war ii. >> there were a couple of instances he was aware of a
german fishing boat coming our way. earnest is waiting for them to come along side and my highlight players will lob hand grenades down the open hatches. the other members of the crew will machine gun the germans on deck. >> military and intelligence historian nicholas reynolds on hemingway the spy. part of american history tv this weekend on c-span 3. fire j. edgar hoover? i don't think the president could have gotten away with it. >> reporter and author, tim weiner details the 100 year history and the fight against terrorists. >> hoover stands alone. he is like the washington monument. he stands alone like a statue encased in grime. as one of the most powerful men
whoever served in washington in the 20th century. 11 presidents, 48 years. from woodrow wilson to richard nixon. there's no one like him. a great deal of what we know or we think we know about j. edgar hoover is myth and legend. >> tim weiner, a history of the fbi. sunday night at 8:00. next, a discussion on the ballistic missile plan and the defense from iran. on the panel and m.i.t. professor who disputes the missile intercepter test results. this is an hour and ten minutes.
physics, we are her with the co-sponsors this fascinating seminar. this seminar is one of the series that we sponsor on the rubric of the harold smith seminar series which focuses on u.s. defense policies with emphasis on the controlling management of nuclear weapons. and this is the third year of the series. and we've had numerous distinguished experts come here to speak about the matter and the reason that they come is because of the person for whom the series is named. dr. harold smith, who i'm going to invite up here in a minute. and harold holds the appointment of visiting scholar with the
governmental studies and also i believe distinguished resident scholar at golden school of public policy. at berkeley, he was professor here and chair of the department of nuclear energy before moving on to work first in the private sector and then within government where he was the assistant secretary of the department of the defense with responsibilities in this nuclear proliferation area. he has many others honors. i'm just going to mention two. one is fellow of the american physical society and the second, which i love to announce, is commander in the legion of honor of france. so without further adieu, harold?
>> i should say that we are -- have the privilege of being i wore probably the wrong colored tie, but anyway, we are going to be on c-span. >> friends and colleagues, the text today is from robert frost's poem "the mending wall." i'm going to quote from it. before i build a wall, i would ask to know what i was walling in or walling out and to whom i would like to give offense. in the poem frost was already too late, the wall had been built. it was simply being repaired. and we are too late today to ask these questions about today's wall, namely ballistic missile
defense. it already exists, the united states has unilaterally withdrawn from the abm treaty, interceptors have been placed in alaska to defend against north korea, the obama administration is negotiating in a european missile defense to defend against iran, which indeed is, quote, like to give offense, end quote, to russia and it already has. something there is that doesn't love a wall, but that's not the subject today. the subject is where should we go from here? not how or why did we get here. among the pressing questions will be what is the obama ballistic missile defense approach and how does it differ from the bush policy? is the current u.s.
strategy based on sound technical principles? what are the likely international ramifications of the obama administration's approach to missile defense, particularly in europe? to address this question we have three talented and highly qualified experts. to my immediate left is michael nacht, recently returned from the post in the obama administration as assistant secretary of defense for global security. on my far right dean wilkening, former technical director of stanford sisak. the doctor has published and spoken widely on bmd. and in the middle is professor theodore postol, professor of science, technology, and national security at m.i.t. ted has also published and spoken widely on this subject.
each will speak for about 15 to 20 minutes. hopefully without interruption, unless there's an absolute fit of brilliance that grips, one of us, myself included. this will be followed by 30 minutes of clarification among the speakers where the goal, unlike the recent presidential debates, will be to inform the audience, not to disparage the speaker. then there will be time for q and a, questions and answers, from the audience. and i will enumerate that and the ground rules for that at the appropriate time. with that, i turn to michael nacht for the first talk. michael? >> thank you very much, harold. glad to be back to discuss some of these issues. my assignment this afternoon is to give you a bit of an overview
of the policy approach of the administration to missile defense that led to the publication of the missile defense review report in early 2010, why i advocated what it did and a little bit about what's happened since. and then my colleagues brought a lot of detail on the technological issues, pros and cons, of the systems. i was tempted to spend a little time giving background subject, but harold basically said don't do that. so just to say that there has always been -- well, there's been a debate for decades about the wisdom of missile defense, putting aside the technical feasibility. in simple terms, if you and i both had missile, offensive missiles, that could destroy
each other, and each of us was confident our missiles could get through, even if we were struck first, then we would have come to some sort of position of strategic stability through missile deterrence. but supposing in that situation i started to build missile defenses while still retaining my offensive capability. you could plausibly construe that as an offensive measure, thinking that i was building a missile defense to degrade your retaliatory attack after i struck you first. so in the '60s u.s. went through a long period of time to explain to our soviet colleagues why we thought missile defense was not stabilizing, was destabilizing. and the soviets had built a missile defense system around
moscow, and it still is there. anyway, the abm treaty was signed as a culmination of that effort and limited both the u.s. and soviets to two sites. this ultimately went away, as harold said, 30 years later under the bush administration. there is a clause and prenational interest clause which permits either side to withdraw after sufficient notice. we did that. we didn't illegally abrogate the treaty, we legally with drew. but it led to increased tensions with the russians. and when -- now i'll skip further. sdi under reagan which was a huge effort that was proven to be technologically infeasible. there was a shift under george h.w. bush and more so under clinton where i served as arms control negotiators on theater missile defense.
we can talk more about that if you like, what happened and why it wasn't a lot of progress with the russians on that. when president obama came into office he requested a review of the entire program. the politics, the policy, the technical capabilities, future plans, and we were also under constraints because congress basically mandated that the administration provide them with a report on our approach with an ear. this has actually been the first comprehensive review of all aspects of our programs into a published, unclassified open report. and this came out in february 2010. it's on the web. ballistic missile defense review report. anybody can read it. when we came into office, what we inherited was a proposal from the george w. bush administration to put some
interceptors, ten interceptors, in poland. and a radar, a sophisticated radar in the czech republic. and assorted other capabilities and it was basically justified as an attempt to deter or necessarily to degrade an iranian attack on european targets. but it did provoke the russians who saw this as kind of a toe in the water leading to a capability that could degrade their strategic retaliatory capability. now, many times under clinton, under george w. bush, and under president obama, senior americans have met with the russians, have given detailed power point presentations and other kinds of discussions to demonstrate, i think, very persuasively that there's no way that these systems could seriously degrade a russian
attack, not that we want the russians to attack. we want the russians to feel comfortable that the retaliatory capability is not threatened. remember, if you have ten interceptors and works perfectly. if you attack it with 11 missiles, you're going to win. so you can overwhelm the system. you can confuse the system with chaff and decoy the various kinds of systems. you can blind the radars. you can now use cyber against the communication systems. there are many things you can do to try to defense an abm system. and you are going to hear quite a bit about that, i think, by my colleagues. the administration decided, after many meetings, consultations, memos, and other activities and consulting with many experts of a variety of persuasions, to modify the
approach. and what was -- what was proved by the president was the european phase adaptive approach, epaa, european phase adaptive approach. what that entailed was a group of interceptors placed in different places, some of which were yet to be determined, and some radars that were enter connected. that could defeat what we saw as a growing missile threat, particularly from iran, but against other potential threats against european targets. the poles and the czechs had
never actually approved the bush plan. their governments had nominally approved it but their legislators never essentially ratified the agreements. so there was nothing actually in concrete that would have made clear that we could have even implemented the bush plan. but we chose to diversify the portfolio, so to speak, to look at a number of different ways to base these missile, including at sea, not just on land. and to do something a little bit like this in northeast asia with japanese and south korean colleagues, to meet north korean threat. i should add that there was not just a military and sort of technical objective involved in this decision. there were other aspects, other dimensions, other motivations of the decision. one was, hopefully, to essentially deter the adversary. we didn't want to use this stuff. we didn't want to just have it there so when the war started we could use it. in fact, we hope never to use it. the plan was to demonstrate
credibly to other militaries that they would pay a high price for launching such an effort. at the same time, there was a motivation of assurance and reassurance of allies. you know, nato is now 28 members. i remember as a kid it was 12 and 16 and now it is 28. i had the privilege to chair the nato high level group when i was in government. it is the group that overseas the nato nuclear weapons policies. i met in belgium with the 27 of the 28. with the french, you met privately. we basically met with all of them. any group of 28, there is a
tremendous discourse. if you are in poland, on the edge of the russian border, with the history that they have had with russia, you had one view for the need of the systems. if you are in spain on the beach, you have a different view. it is not easy to come to a kind of consensus view on what to do. overall, there was very strong support among the nato members to go forward with what the u.s. proposed. they thought it was important to reassure their publics and their government officials that the u.s. was going to be there. especially, i remember at the time, when president obama was advocating abduction and elimination of nuclear weapons and the nuclear security guarantee has been at the corner stone of the nato alliance since
1949. here, there is a third angle in defense policy motivating this. this is a non-nuclear dimension to alliance cohesion that is reliant to the president's approach to eliminate nuclear weapons without in any way leading to an unraveling with nato or japanese or koreans or whatever. it is also extensive collaboration with israel on this. israel has a growing arrow missile defense system intended to deal with the threats of their neighborhood. and there is a lot of collaboration with the israelis in terms of technology, radar, interfaces and strategy and intelligence gathering and so forth. turkey, which was originally not that interested in supporting this project ultimately now has
agreed. romania is going to be a base for some interceptors. poland and the czech republic will play a role. there is a key for the u.s. allies. where we run into a problem is that not that these issues are totally resolved, but it is an ongoing alliance management issue. i would say it seems quite manageable. also a number of these have been based at sea. we run into a problem with the russians and to some extent china. it, by all accounts, by everything we seem to know, the senior analysts and strategic rocket forces of the russian federation has persuaded their leadership that what we are proposing and particularly what we are proposing down the line because this is a phased
adaptive approach. this is a decade-long program with new systems coming on board by 2020. you will probably see a lot of this with my colleagues in the so-called sm-3 ma 2. we don't have that now. the russians extrapolating to the abilities they think we're going to have believe it will pose a threat to their deterrent. we have been engaged with them in missile defense cooperation talks led by the under secretary of the state ellen taucher. she has been negotiator for quite some time, since the spring of 2009 until now, and they haven't reached agreement. unfortunately the president made a statement not too long ago
saying they have not born fruit. there is an opportunity to share more data. the russians want to be involved in the operations systems which is a bit of a problem for us. that it could lead russians to withdrawal from the stars treat y that they signed with obama last year. there is still another dimension to the motivation here which didn't lead us to withdrawal the original bush plan. there is a russia improvement aspect to this strategy. namely you may know if you follow this, as early as the spring of 2009, president obama and vice president biden have spoken about russia reset strategy. when we came in, relations with
russia was bad. russian invaded georgia in the summer of '08. russia was upset about the expansion of nato. they were upset with a wide variety of the u.s. withdrawal of the treaty. and part of the obama approach has been to improve relations with russia. not just to be a good guy and get along better, but for concrete objectives because on the nuclear side, the american position under obama is that the proliferation of nuclear weapons to other countries and their use by terrorists, nuclear terrorism is now, in fact, the top security threat to the united states. it's not the threat of 3,000 reentry vehicle change with the russians or doing this with the chinese. it is nuclear weapons will be acquired by other states.
the more hands involved, the more likelihood they will be used in asia or that they will be stolen, obtained in some way by non-government groups, some of whom, as we saw through 9/11, willingness to die in support of their goals. so, the obama objective has been to bring the russians and the chinese more closely aligned with our view that we have to stop that threat. and in order to do that, we need to have persuasive arguments and tangible measures that we've taken which would be in their interests. we wanted very much to do a variety of things to support sanctions against iran, which we had trouble getting them to support. the chinese case, there have been issues with them. and the united front with the
north koreans has been a challenge. the improved relations with russia is how we sought to deploy the weapons systems and radar abilities. yet, we are still struggling with that. it is not resolved. with china, they are also making a similar argument. that they have a smaller force, although their actual force is actually not known. there has been some very releva relevant articles in the "washington post" suggesting they have ten times the nuclear weapons than the community thinks it has. the strategy is not known. the deployment plans are not known. but the chinese are also saying that bringing russia and china with the nuclear weapons and coupled with conventional prompt
global strike abilities, these will be new long-range missiles with conventional weapons, but super accurate that can attack silos and radars and other hard-to-get targets. that this poses a threat to them as well. that's why in the nuclear posture review, we propose strategic stability talks with russia and china to get these issues on the table and have sustained dialogue and discussion with them. present data and have them present counter arguments and hopefully reach some agreement. if you are a student of this sort of thing, with the soviet union going back to the cold war, there were pug-wash meetings in 1960. the first agreement we had with the soviet union was 1972. obama spoke about the strategic
talks and the nuclear posture review as of april, 2010. don't expect results by the end of the seminar. it takes a long time to exchange views and not necessarily for us to come around to their view. but not to have a common understanding and agreement and code of conduct and rules of the road so we are not in an advesarial position. i hope this gives you an overall flavor for what was motivating the objective. there has been controversy over the effectiveness of the systems which we talk about. they can be overwhelmed. they can be defeated in various ways. they can be confused. specified in the missile defense review report is the stipulation
that before new abilities are deployed, they must undergo testing of the operational conditions. this is because a number of the tests early on were not under realistic operational conditions. some people thought they were rigged and they were easy. there is the target over there. the missile would go over there. the iranians won't be helping us find them. so there has been an effort in the missile defense agency to establish more realistic conditions. this is contentious. you can look at the parameters of the test and say this is not realistic. it is a work in progress. the full phase adaptive approach is not expected to be deployed is 2020. that is still nine years away. in time, after many tests and the deployment plans and the rest to build a confidence system. would it be foolproof or
perfect? no. could deter potential adversaries? possibly. could it reassure allies? probably. could it possibly improve relations with china and russia? yes. is it worth doing in my judgment? yes. it is a thoughtful and carefully constructed approach. that is basically my set of remarks and why we salvaged what we did and where we are headed in policy terms. thank you. >> michael, thank you. that was a very nice setting of the stage. we are going to move more to the technical side. i don't want anyone here to think either professor or the doctor don't understand the politics of the situation. it will seem a little more technical, but by people who are skilled in the world of political give and